Biography of Colebourn, Harry D., 1887-1947

Harry Colebourn (1887-1947) was born in Birmingham, England, and came to Canada in 1905. He graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1911. He spent the following year in England and then returned to Winnipeg to take a position with the health of Animals Branch, Dominion Department of Agriculture. He joined the Fort Garry Horse Militia in 1913 and when war broke out he was granted leave with pay and sent to Valcartier Camp as a member of the Canadian Army Veterinarian Corps. After being transferred to the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade he served in the field for three years. He achieved the rank of Major. After the war he did post-graduate work at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, London, England, and then returned to private practice in Winnipeg in 1920. In 1926 he rejoined the Dominion Department of Agriculture, with whom he remained until he retired in 1945. It was Colebourn who in August 1914 purchased the black bear cub, Winnipeg, that would become the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh. The cub became the mascot of the Second Infantry Brigade, CEF, and in December of 1914 was presented to the London Zoological Gardens, where it was made famous by A. A. Milne.

Mentioned in:


  1. "The Soldier's Ten Commandments" 1916


  1. Captain Harry Colebourn with his cub “Winnie” at Salisbury Plains
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